Reward Increased For Damaged Chinatown Lions

Officials at the Chinese-American Museum of Chicago are stepping up efforts to find the person responsible for damaging two lion statues outside the building last month.

Surveillance video in the early-morning hours of March 2 shows a man staggering up to one of the lions in Chinatown and picking away at the teeth with a hammer. He then walks out of view of the camera and attacks a second lion.

Museum officials initially offered a $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction, but have now upped the reward to $2,500.

Museum co-founder Kim Pee said estimates on the repairing the lions are as high as $6,850.

"Hopefully we'll have a more positive update next time if the police or detectives are able to find this person," Pee said.

The lions -- called Chinese Guardian Lions or Imperial Guardian Lions -- came to the museum, at 238 W. 23rd St., last year as a gift from Chinese officials. The statues were created from a single piece of blue stone from China's Fujian Province.

Anyone with information about the attack should Chicago police or the Chinese-American Museum of Chicago at 312-949-1000.

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